by Jim Nintzel
The matching-funds provision in the Clean Elections system remains viable.
Arizona's system of public financing of elections remains in place, at least for the time being.
In a 2-1 ruling late Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to allow the state to continue to give extra matching funds to publicly funded candidates when their privately financed foes spend more.
But Monday's ruling does not guarantee the money will be there when the publicly-funded candidates start applying for the match.
The court did not overturn U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver, who found it unconstitutional to give extra taxpayer funds to publicly-funded candidates if their privately-funded opponent spends more than the limit set by the state.
Instead, it gives attorneys for the state and the Clean Elections Institute, which supports public financing, the time to make their case that Silver was wrong.
A hearing is set in April. But supporters of the system have an uphill fight.